“It’s Not Just About the Ribbons” – Chapter 1: Goals

As part of my personal growth, I am reading Jane Savoie’s book “It’s Not Just About the Ribbons”.  My friends and I are reading a chapter per week and discussing what we’ve learned.  Chapter 1 discusses goal setting and in order to put more pressure on myself, I am listing them here in my blog…..so here are mine for the next year.


Long Term Goals (Define Your Destination)

Miles: MACh by Fall 2010 (and in doing so qualify for 2011 AKC Nationals)

Rue: Qualify for and attend 2011 AKC Nationals


Short Term Goals (Make a Road Map)

 – Miles: MX/MXJ by Spring 2010

                  ADHF (Golden Retriever Agility Dog Hall of Fame) by Summer 2010

This month:

 – Learn how to communicate the difference between a tight rear-cross and a forward motion rear-cross

 – Practice start line stays in class, run-throughs, and in “high pressure” situations outside of agility

 – Do more “walk handling” sessions to help him have more obstacle commitment

– Achieve and maintain at least 5yps course times in JWW and at least 3.8yps course times in Standard


Rue: AX/AXJ by Late Spring/Early Summer 2010

 This month:

– Become more comfortable with turns on the flat to maintain extension and forward drive

– Visit and train in as many different locations as possible

– Alternate running courses without cookies with higher pressure short sequences with rewards on me

– Ask neighbors to come over and watch us train and act as ring crew/judge

– Start working more seriously/systematically on dogwalk turns

– Achieve and maintain at least 4yps in JWW and at least 3yps in Standard


 Word your goals thoughtfully:

– My dogs are fast, smart, and talented

– I am fast, coordinated, and strong

– Miles is courageous and resilient

– Rue is motivated to work/play with me

– I am confident in my handling choices for each dog


– Rue is motivated to work/play with me
– I am confident in my handling choices for each dog
– Miles has wicked fast weaves and slams into a down on the table
– Rue runs fast and extended
– Rue and I move together as a connected team
– Miles rides the teeter all the way down


Know the reasons why:

– Winning is fun

– Proving that Goldens can be very competitive in agility

– Becoming a more credible dog trainer

– Pushing myself beyond my limits




 – More letters after/before my dog’s names

– Recognition from peers, instructors, and elite competitors

– Credibility

– Sense of accomplishment

– Fun

 – Sense of self-worth


– Fear of failure

 – Fear of injury

 – Embarassment


4 thoughts on ““It’s Not Just About the Ribbons” – Chapter 1: Goals

  1. “- Proving that Goldens can be very competitive in agility.”

    I am with you here! Actually, I am with you on several of these, even though they are your personal goals with your own dogs.

    Maybe I should get the book too!

  2. It’s a very very good book…and I’m only on Chapter 2!! Seriously, I really have been in need of something to help me with my mental game.

    In what other aspects can you relate with me about? This was a very fun, yet difficult, exercise to do. Might be neat for you to try 🙂

  3. I love finding new blogs… I too believe Goldens can be competitive in agility – Mine made it all the way to FCI Worlds for Canada in 2007 and 2008 in Individual the first year and on Team the second year!

    I too love Jane’s book and can share another favorite site for mental prep – http://www.zoneofexcellence.ca/ The Book by Terry Orlick is a great resource!

    Lynda Orton-Hill & SPIRIT! (Tanbark’s Spirit of the Sport)

  4. I would like to quality and attend 2011 Nationals with Emma. I have never attended a national event before. I recently looked up the requirements for the ADHF, and would like to achieve that too. Also, some of the things you write such as dog being motivated to work/play with you and being confident in handling choices, are things that I think about/work on all the time.

    Emma is really understanding the game now and is a committed partner, something I never had with Griffin, so this is a whole new experience for me. I think it’s time to think more about goals.

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